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Downtown Development Authority


Anything but Plain The Plainwell, Michigan Downtown Development Authority was established in 1981, pursuant to the State of Michigan’s Act 197 of the Public Acts of 1975. In creating the Authority, the City of Plainwell recognized the dangers posed by a declining downtown area, and took the first steps in correcting them.

The Plainwell Downtown Development Authority is tasked with correcting and preventing deterioration in the downtown business district, encouraging historic preservation, implementing development plans for the future, and promoting overall economic growth. It was combined with the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and the Tax Increment Financing Authority (TIFA) to form a cohesive board tasked with economic development and overseeing not only downtown development, but the redevelopment of the former Plainwell Paper Mill and the Plainwell Industrial Park. As a result of this merger, the board is referred to as the BRA/DDA/TIFA board.

Downtown Development Plan
Amended DDA Plan 2007 - 2028

Board Members

EJ Hart, DDA Board President

Owner of Hart’s Jewelry
124 N. Main Street
Plainwell, MI 49080

Angie Ridgway, Owner

115 N. Main Street
Plainwell, MI 49080

Nick Larabel, BRA Board President

125 Floral Avenue
Plainwell, MI 49080

Paul Rizzo, TIFA Board President

Owner, Rizzo Packaging
930 Lincoln Parkway
Plainwell, MI 49080

Adam Hopkins

Co -Founder of Design Street
115 W. Bridge Street
Plainwell, MI 49080

David O'Bryant

Owner Highland Ridge & Island City Coffee
118 E. Bridge Street Plainwell, MI 49080

Jim Turley

Owner FBN Sales, Inc.
928 Industrial Parkway
Plainwell, MI 49080

Erik Wilson, Manager

City of Plainwell
211 N. Main Street
Plainwell, MI 49080


The Plainwell BRA/DDA/TIFA authority is managed by a board of directors, which is required by Act 197 to be composed of not less than eight or more than twelve members approved by the City Commission. One board position must be held by the city manager, one board position must be a held by a downtown resident, and the majority of board members must have an interest in property located in the downtown district or the Plainwell Industrial Park.

Funding:  Tax Increment Finance

Plainwell oversees three “Tax Increment Finance” authorities (TIFA) which are areas within the city’s geographic boundaries selected for development. These include the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) which is the paper mill property, and the TIFA district (the Plainwell Industrial Park). Governed by the board of directors, these tax increment finance authorities generate revenues for capital projects by capturing tax revenues based on the incremental increase of downtown property values over time.

It is important to note that this procedure does not increase taxes in any way. Also, no other taxing body ever loses tax revenue. Other taxing bodies simply do not realize the increase in tax revenue generated by tax increment finance authority improvements. In other words, the Downtown Development Authority ensures that increases in downtown tax revenues stay sharply focused on the incredibly important downtown district.

BRA/DDA/TIFA Documents & Meeting Minutes

DDA / BRA / TIFA Orientation
What Is a DDA?  : New and Current Member Orientation
Click to View Meeting Minute Archives